Studies Examine Manufactured Homes' Value

News / Consumer

By John Sweeney | Editor: The Weekly Observer
Published: October 12, 2009

JOHNSONVILLE- Multiple studies over the last thirty years have shown manufactured homes adjacent to and among site-built structures have had neither a positive nor negative effect on the property values in a surrounding area.

Separate research done by the University of Michigan, East Carolina University and Consumers Union each reported that manufactured homes not only had the potential to increase in value over time but that, if properly maintained, can match the performance of a site-built home.

"Much...discussion has centered on the potential negative effects manufactured homes might have on the value of adjacent properties," one study's conclusion read. "However, our research has shown that this concern about property values is not justified."

"...average appreciation rates of manufactured homes packaged with owned land are statistically in line with the site built market," another said. "There are few inherent reasons that a home built in a factory should perform differently than on built on site."

However, contrary to its two counterparts, a study released in 2003 by Consumers Union, a non-profit consumer awareness research organization, reported that a "large portion of manufactured homes in rental parks" contributed to the lower appreciation many manufactured homes. In fact, a "high variation" of home's appreciation rates were found to decline in value over time even when placed on a privately owned lot.

But even the Consumers Union concluded that no concrete evidence could be found to suggest that property values of site built homes surrounding even rented manufactured homes were affected one way or another.

Some studies have even concluded that site-built homes near communities of manufactured onesâ€"in some cases even those used as rental propertiesâ€"had even increased significantly in value over time.

All three studies agreed that should a manufactured home be placed on a privately owned parcel of land in a generally valued location, and "purchase price and maintenance expenditures are among the factors that predict appreciation," the a property value assessment would have the same opportunity to increase in value as a site built home on the same spot.

In other words, if a manufactured home was properly maintained, there were not many factors that existed to prevent it from appreciating over time in a similar manner as a site-built home.

According to the Manufactured Housing Institute of South Carolina, if a manufactured home is properly maintained, the value of that home has the potential to appreciate "as much if not more than site-built homes."

On average, manufactured housing has appreciated anywhere from four to five-percent in South Carolina for the last 20-plus years.